AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 COCKTAILS AND SKETCHES – NUMBER 17 – THE BUS STATION, HCMC, VIETNAM.

By Richie Fawcett

View towards the Old Saigon bus station, now replaced by building works for the Metro for the last 6 years.

LOCATION

This station was located on the Southern side of a busy, wide traffic circle in central HCMC. Not so much a single structure, but rather a series of small buildings, from which different bus companies used to offer their services.

Now the location looks like a building site with construction for the metro.

This was a fairly noisy, busy place, even tricky to walk across as you had to cross many lanes of traffic.

One of the last years in 2015 for the location of the Saigon bus station to remain in its original place

The Iconic equestrian statue of King Tran Nguyen Han was removed in 2015 after part of his right leg fell off and nearly hit a tourist. The plan was to move it anyway to make way for the metro but this event accelerated the process. The whole area is now under going construction and has been 6 years since work started with a lot longer to go before completion.

COCKTAIL

The cocktail inspired by this area is a twist on the classic greyhound, based on vodka and grapefruit juice. Grapefruits do not grow in Vietnam, instead a similar fruit called pomelo is used instead. Adding aloe vera for extra cooling properties is essential as waiting for a bus here used to be a very hot experience.

INGREDIENTS

The Bus Station cocktail uses the building method of creation.

50ml Vodka, 150ml Pomello Juice, 15ml Coconut Vinegar, 2 bar spoons finely chopped and cooked aloe vera, Pinch black sea salt.

METHOD

Build all ingredients except aloe vera into highball glass filled with large ice. Top with aloe vera. Serve with a long spoon on a bus map with a returnees ticket attached to the glass and slice of aloe vera.

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